In February this year, I suddenly found myself depending on a walker just to make it to my kitchen. I severely herniated a disc in my lower back while bending to pick up my dog’s bowl, an injury brought on by years of use. The pain was excruciating. On top of this, my husband and I had just bought a house in Richmond, VA, to be closer to his parents. I had a whole plan to travel between Colorado and Virginia for Babysitters Of Boulder. Suddenly, I couldn’t even walk down the street!
I thought I’d be back to normal in a few weeks. I am only 38 and I’ve always been a very active person. But here is what actually happened: over the next 6 months I had multiple MRIs, agonizing pain, medication injected into my spine, and many ups-and-downs with attempting to recover. It’s only now, seven months later, that I am nearly healed thanks to finally finding an excellent physical therapist. I was able to avoid surgery.
I am super fortunate to have our team of trustworthy childcare providers who provide our clients with great service, even when I can’t make it out my front door.
And, I learned 5 important Lessons for Childcare Providers:
- If you have back pain going on, please see a specialist and consider getting images. I had lingering pain in the months leading up to this much bigger injury, and I assumed it would go away if I exercised and got some chiropractic care. If I had undergone an X-ray and MRI scan sooner, this extreme pain and loss of mobility could potentially have been avoided.
- Nannies need health insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. This injury would have cost me over $25,000.00 out of pocket if I didn’t have insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance comes through your nanny family paying you legally with a W-2, also known as “on the books.” It’s important!
- Childcare work calls for supportive footwear, rather than cute flats or worn out sneakers that have no support. The stress on your back can add up even in your 20s and 30s.
- More than ever, I support nannies and sitters taking proper breaks and staying hydrated. I have always been an advocate of this for others, however, I didn’t embrace this healthy practice as much for myself. I was a “go-go-go” sitter and nanny for many years. While that did win me clients, it also harmed my physical health.
- Sitting really weakens the deep core muscles that protect your spine and your discs. As a business owner I spent many hours sitting, whether at my laptop writing emails, or driving to meet business partners and clients. Have a professional teach you targeted exercises for those deep, deep core muscles. Finding the right professional isn’t easy. I had two unsuccessful starts with physical therapists. I was lucky to find the amazing Dr. Allison Beale in Richmond to help me one-on-one. This is Dr. Beale’s awesome instagram!
I can’t wait to get back to the team lunches, coffee meetups, and volunteering activities I normally do with our team. When I say that I am looking forward to seeing our team members in person, I really, really mean it!
Genna Hackley Founder & Owner, Babysitters Of Boulder
Watch me re-learning how to bend and lift in the video below! ⬇️